Reading Time: 3 minutes

Next up in our blog series with Shane Finn, Shane gives us the low down on what gear we need for fitness and running.

Shane is a very well-known Kerryman who is an exceptional runner and athlete having completed some amazing feats, he has; run 24 marathons in 24 days, cycled and ran across the USA in 36 days and completed in numerous races, one off events and ironman triathlons across the world. He is a tireless fundraiser for Spina Bifida.You can find out more about him and his coaching service on

Fitness & Running Gear You Can’t Live Without

I tend to promote simplicity when and where I can. But there is some kit that is essential to us runners in the quest to get us from start line to finish line and the miles of training in-between too!

If you happen to be new to running you might be a little overwhelmed by all the lingo and kit being talked about amongst more experienced runners. But not to worry! We are here to help! From the basics right up to the extras, whether you want to complete that first event, or you want to bank some more miles.

1) A Decent Pair of Running Shoes

Let’s start with the basics. To start running and focusing on some events you will need a pair of running shoes you can trust and that you feel comfortable in. One of the best ways to find the best shoe for you is to visit your local running shop and try on a variety of running shoes.

Comfort is the key! You will be spending a lot of time in them so make comfort a priority. If your local running store has a treadmill that will be very beneficial too as you can try them out beforehand. Also, it is great to support local stores and shops in local communities where you can.

2) Some Comfortable Running Wear

Another important thing to consider is the running gear and clothes you use! Comfort is key with running shoes, but comfort is key with apparel too. A couple of pairs of shorts or tights along with some t-shirts will get you started nicely. The material should be somewhat sweat wicking, so it pulls the sweat away from the body! Cotton is not the best choice for this by the way.

In Ireland, a running jacket is almost compulsory for much of the year. Look into getting one that might be both waterproof and windproof to protect you from the elements.

3) A GPS Running Watch

If you are just starting out, you might not need to jump in right away and buy a brand-new GPS running watch. But they can be helpful. You can track runs, check times and record distances. It helps you to quantify the training you are doing and log sessions you can look back at to see how far you have come.

You can also look at downloading Strava. Strava is a free app where you can log all training sessions to your phone. Strava also has a built-in community aspect too where you can follow friends and see their runs and routes too.

4) A Handheld Running Bottle

Something worth considering for those slightly longer or even warmer training runs is a water bottle. Perhaps you are heading out on a run and you are not sure what time you might get back at. Having some water ‘on hand’ can be very helpful. We all know how vitally important hydration is always for us and as runners it’s imperative to keep on top of it so we can avoid dehydration.

5) A Headlamp or Head Torch

Again, it is not a vital piece of kit, but it is something worth having close by on darker evenings or mornings. For safety purposes you will be able to see the trails or paths ahead of you quite clearly. Especially during the winter months and it will also help identify you to other runners and vehicles (along with your high vis).

6) Anti-Chafe Balm & Good Running Socks

Every runner dreads chafing! It can be avoided quite often with some simple tips and tricks. Applying some anti-chafe balm such as Body Glide will certainly help the situation.

Sometimes blisters are unavoidable but a good pair of running socks can really help. Brands such as ‘1000 Mile’ offer a double layer sock and are great for avoiding blisters. However, sock choice is personal and different for everyone so try a few different pairs and brands out and see what works the best for you.

Just remember when you’re starting out decent runners and some running gear is all you need. If and when you progress to the next level, you can start adding on the nice-to-haves and more expensive gears if you feel so inclined!